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Reader question: Do I need a Covid vaccine booster shot to travel to France?

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
Reader question: Do I need a Covid vaccine booster shot to travel to France?
A man receives a booster dose in France. We take a look at whether these extra injections are needed for travel. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)

The French government is pushing a booster dose campaign as one of its key strategies in the fight against Covid, and for many a booster is a requirement for a vaccine pass. But what is the situation for travellers?


Question: I plan to travel to France next week but have still not received a booster dose. Do I need to get one before I leave? 

France has a traffic light system for travel, with countries listed as either green, amber or red. If you are unvaccinated, then you will face different restrictions on travel to France depending on what category country you are travelling from - full details HERE.

For now though, French border authorities are not taking into account whether or not you have had a booster dose.

This means that if you are vaccinated but haven't received a booster dose, you will not face the extra travel restrictions.

The French Health Ministry told The Local: "a booster is not yet required to leave or return to France.” 

To count as fully vaccinated for travel purposes, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have received a vaccine that is approved by the European Medicines Agency – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson (also known as Janssen). The Indian-produced Covishield vaccine is also now accepted by France 
  • Be at least seven days after the second injection for double-dose vaccines or after a single dose for those people who had previously had Covid-19
  • Be at least 28 days after the injection for people who had the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • People who have received a vaccine that is recognised by the World Health Organisation but not yet approved for use by the EMA can travel to France if they have had a ‘top up’ single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna 


Both EU and non-EU vaccination certificates are accepted at the border.


The vaccine pass 

However, although you can enter France without a booster, you may find your life curtailed once you are here.

In France, a vaccine pass is required to access sites like bars, restaurants, cinemas and tourist sites such as museums and galleries - and a booster is required for a valid vaccine pass.

The vaccine pass requires a booster shot if more than seven months has passed since your last vaccine dose (or two months if they you vaccinated with Janssen) - and this rule is the same for French residents and visitors or tourists.

Full details here.

From February 15th, you must have received a booster dose if more than four months has passed since your last dose (or two months for Janssen).

If you have had the booster then you are entitled to a vaccine pass - the seven or four-month limits refer only to people who have not had a booster.

The booster rule does not apply to under 18s.

Foreign vaccination certificates

If you were vaccinated in an EU or Schengen zone country, your vaccination certificate and booster is fully compatible with the French health pass.

Those vaccinated outside the EU, however, will need to covert their vaccination certificates into a French code once they arrive in the country - here's how

If you were vaccinated in England, Wales or Scotland, the NHS vaccination certificate is now compatible with the French health pass app, but there is a technical point you should be aware of:

NHS vaccination codes are only valid for 30 days and since the deactivation programme began, the Tous Anti Covid app also deactivates expired NHS codes, meaning that those vaccinated in the UK must download a new NHS code every 30 days and add it to the French app in order to keep their pass working.

If your pass is deactivated, here’s how to reactivate it.





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